Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Champagne, champagne et champagne!

Something else I've been meaning to post about forever is my little day trip to Champagne back in July with Lionel, Jasmin and an American friend of Jasmin's who was visiting for a week.  We decided to take Jasmin's friends on a day trip out to Champagne to visit a champagne house, so we drove out to Reims (about an hour and a half from Paris) and visited the city and tasted some champagne one Saturday afternoon. 

vineyards of Champagne

We made a reservation at G. H. Mumm and headed there first.  It's only about a 15 minute walk from the center of Reims, where we parked the car.  We were able to visit the champagne house and the champagne cellars and learn about how champagne is made.  Then at the end we got to taste a flute of champagne.  The visits with tasting start at 10 euros and the prices increases from their depending on how many champagnes you want to taste.

cellars of G. H. Mumm

cellars of G. H. Mumm

Jasmin and Lionel with giant champagne bottles

Afterwards we headed back into the city and walked around a bit and explored the city.  We saw some ancient Roman ruins, the beautiful town hall, and the absolutely amazing Cath├ędrale de Reims where almost every French king was crowned since Clovis.  The cathedral, dating from the 13th century, is very interesting to visit and besides being the location of coronations, it has amazing architecture and beautiful stained glass windows, including some which were designed by the famous artist Marc Chagall in 1974.  The cathedral is one of my favorites in France (since I'm a French history buff) and I've already visited it once, when I took a few of my American friends out to champagne taste in Reims at Taittinger and G. H. Martel, two other champagne houses that are a short walk from the center of the city.  Of the three that I've visited, Taittinger was the most interesting because the house was built on the ruins of an abbey and you can see some of those ruins when you visit the cellar.  But at G. H. Martel you get to taste the most champagnes with the basic, cheapest tour, so it gives you a real chance to compare different champagnes.

Cath├ędrale de Reims

city of Reims

street in Reims

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